Bridget Jones fans shocked by Mark Darcy's demise in latest novel

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones in the movie Bridget Jones's Diary Photo:

Bridget Jones fans have been left shocked by the revelation the world's most famous singleton has got married, had children and become a widow in the latest novel in the diary series.

Writer Helen Fielding's Mad About The Boy is set to be released in October and the spoilers were revealed as extracts were published in the Sunday Times Magazine (£).

It turns out the previously unlucky-in-love Bridget married the highly successful but socially awkward barrister Mark Darcy and the couple had two children - only for Fielding to kill him off.

Darcy, played by Colin Firth in the film adaptations of the first two novels, has been favourite with fans who many preferred over his love rival Daniel Cleaver, played by Hugh Grant.

Hugh Grant, Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth at the photocall for the film "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" Credit: Press Association Images

Many fans took to Twitter where many lamented the death of Mr Darcy or declared themselves "heartbroken" by the news.

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NOT happy that Mark Darcy is dead in the new Bridget Jones!!!!

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Mark Darcy is dead. Bridget Jones is a widow!! This is all too much for a lazy Sunday morning. @sundaytimesnews

Some suggested they may now avoid reading the third installment of the famed diary altogether.

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As if Helen Fielding has killed off Mark Darcy! Not sure that I want to read the 3rd Bridget Jones book now! ? #BridgetJones #devastated

Those readers that do decide to reacquaint themselves with Bridget will now find her as a 51-year-old widow obsessed with wrinkles.

Bridget's new adventures as a fifty-something cougar see her meet new 30-year-old toy boy boyfriend, Roxter, on Twitter, five years after Darcy's death.

Author Helen Fielding Credit: Press Association

Fielding, is herself a 55-year-old single mother-of-two but has always denied that the books are autobiographical.

Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy, is set to be released on October 10